Young girls are increasingly at risk of sexual assault by strangers

A Finnish university study found that underage girls are increasingly facing sexual assault from people they don’t know and that the assaults are getting more and more serious.

The University of Tampere study interviewed a total of 6,825 sixth and ninth grade girls and found that 8% of ninth grade girls said they had been victims of sexual violence, compared to 5% in a study from 2013.

Finnish police recorded a total of 760 child abuse cases from January to March 2022, an increase of 73% compared to the same period in 2021, Finnish broadcaster Yle reports.

According to the University of Tampere study, the number of sexual abusers who are not known to the victim beforehand is also increasing, with half of girls who said they had been sexually assaulted saying the abuser was a stranger to them.

Taina Laajasalo, an expert at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, commented on the findings, saying: “It should be noted that the general picture of sexual violence against young people seems to have worsened. In addition to the increase in numbers, the proportion of strangers has increased and, at the same time, coercion and violence have increased. Overall, these changes are worrisome.

In 2018, statistics from the Finnish Police University College revealed that this meant that 37% of sex offense suspects in metropolitan areas of Finland were foreigners, although foreigners only make up around 10% of the total population. .

Tuija Hietaniemi, a special investigator at the Central Criminal Police, noted at the time that many of the suspects were Iraqis saying, “For me, there are several different reasons. There are many young men among Iraqis, and young men tend to commit the most crimes. The same goes for the Finns.

Just a year later, a migrant from Afghanistan was arrested after being accused of sexually assaulting six victims in Tampere and Ylöjärvi, one of the victims being a minor.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)


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